SNIFFLING: After a sick-leave-free Winter, the first in recent memory, this week saw me drifting into the realm of the unwell thanks to a cold-carrying Wifey and a couple of hours shopping of Edinburgh, before which I felt fine, after which I felt blocked-up and boggin'. Head colds are no fun, especially with a nose as, er, striking as mine, but my main concern is to try and get shot of the bugger before it gets chesty, since that's kicked off asthma nastiness in the past. While it's not gone yet, I think the cold is on the way out and I should be back at work next week without fear of being labelled a walking talking piece of germ warfare.
LISTENING: More great new music shoved in my general direction by BBC 6Music - this time it's Sharon Van Etten's latest album, Tramp. It's a fantastic album, full of confidence and fire, somewhere between singer-songwriter, country and indie-rock. While there's a sadness in the lyrics, this isn't broken, desolate music - think somewhere between Laura Marling, the National and Beirut. Give Out is sparse, mainly voice and acoustic guitar, yet electric guitars play along in echoey reverb, while Serpents punches hard and urgent with a chorus of "serpents in my mind... everything changes," spitting out lyrics like "you enjoyed sucking on dreams" while relentless drums keep a sense of thrilling urgency while guitars keen and howl. It's already shaping up to be one of the songs of the year, and I'd expect to see the album on many an end-of-year list too, especially as it grows on you with every listen. Excellent stuff.
WATCHING: BBC4 celebrated its tenth birthday with a disco-themed weekend, complete with a hour-long documentary on The Joy Of Disco. Well worth a watch on the iPlayer (until Friday evening), it's an enjoyable and eye-opening potted history from 1969 to 1979, from the Stonewall riots to (this was news to me) the Disco Sucks riot, with lots inbetween. The soundtrack was, inevitably, absolutely wonderful, but there was plenty more to it - even though you wouldn't think of it as a niche subject, I still felt like I learned plenty from the documentary, while enjoying every minute (dig the surprise appearance from Truman Capote!). There's a couple of good short clips over here.
THIS WEEK'S TUMBLR OF CHOICE: Batman Running Away From Shit.